This is a project by Zen Architects and it is located at Melbourne, Australia. There are four images for North Carlton Green House.
An extension to a single storey, two bedroom, Victorian terrace house.
The client required that the small site (166m2) be used to maximum potential to increase the size of the house and also the garden space. Zen Architects identified the client’s passion for her garden and the sun as an exciting opportunity to increase the local ecological diversity and absorb carbon dioxide. The brief also encompassed the aims of minimizing resource and energy use.
Planning restrictions limited the ability to build up, so to increase floor area the footprint of the house had to increase. An increase in garden space would therefore require an innovative approach to integrating garden with the building.
Maximising green space
Garden is integrated into the building to create a living, breathing, sustainable space that is a delight to inhabit. Two courtyards contain garden beds that protrude into the house and a pond that reflects light onto the ceiling. A rooftop garden provides more garden and first floor planter boxes act as privacy screens. A curtain of tillandsia air plants articulates light, while wysteria provides external shade.
Floor area increased from 90m2 to 132m2 and garden is also increased from 20m2 to 35m2 as ground floor garden, first floor roof-top garden, raised planters and existing tree canopies link to create a landscape rich in diversity.
Habitable outdoor space increased from 23m2 to 45.25m, spread over four spaces, each oriented and shaded differently to maximize flexibility in use.
Minimising resource use - gas and electricity
Heating and cooling minimization: Thermal mass is provided in the form of an exposed concrete floor, concrete ceiling and brick walls. Stable internal temperatures are maintained through high performance insulation batts and Air-cell seisalation in the walls and roof, straw board in the party wall, and the roof garden is insulated with 300 - 600mm of earth. A two storey north-facing void adjacent to the courtyard allows sun to penetrate deep into the house to passively heat and facilitates natural heat removal in summer through stack effect. Shading is provided by overhanging eaves, fixed louvers and deciduous planting. Windows are oriented to catch breezes cooled by the pond. When required, a gas-hydronic system heats the insulated concrete floor. To minimize gas usage, the gas boiler also boosts the solar hot water system.
Water minimisation: Water consumption is minimised through harvested rainwater and grey water use in the garden via automated irrigation systems that are sub-surface to minimise evaporation.
Renovation of existing house stock is essential for a sustainable future. Restrictive planning controls and client floor area demands can result in outcomes of big footprints and small green spaces. The North Carlton Green House proposes a model where ecology is the foremost concern. Green space is increased, while demands of client and planning authorities are met. A series of similar houses layered with green space would link horizontally and vertically creating a healthy, green urban environment rich in biodiversity.